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Fine Art alumni secure prestigious regional residency

27th September 2023

Two of Northumbria University’s Fine Art graduates are being supported by the New Graduate Award scheme developed and hosted by Middlesbrough Art Week (MAW).

Northumbria alumni Alice Kershaw and Seymour Mace, who completed their studies on the BA (Hons) Fine Art programme earlier this year, were awarded their place on the scheme following their successful graduate shows at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in May.

Caption: Northumbria University graduate Alice Kershaw is pictured with her work, Discarded Bottles.For the first time ever, the 2023 degree shows of graduating artists from Northumbria University were jointly presented across spaces at Baltic and Northumbria’s City Campus in Newcastle, to mark the ongoing partnership between the two organisations which supports experimental artistic research and practice.

Middlesbrough Art Week is back for its sixth edition and takes place at venues across the town from Thursday 28 September to Saturday 7 October. Formerly known as the Middlesbrough Art Weekender, MAW now extends to a full week of exhibitions, talks, workshops, performances, events and exciting public interventions, this year presenting the work of over 120 regional, national and international artists.

The New Graduate Award (NGA) scheme is a post-education, professional development programme that awards selected graduates with accessible studio space, timely financial support, intensive critiques with mentors and peers, and the chance to showcase their work at Middlesbrough Art Week.

The NGA is curated in dialogue with the new graduates and has grown this year to support eight graduates from Northern School of Art, Northumbria University, Sunderland University and Teesside University. The scheme provides a platform for these talented artists to be initiators of change, spotlighting their work and allowing them to build skills and networks that will help sustain their practices into the future. It’s the second year in a row that graduates from Northumbria University have been supported by the scheme.

Northumbria graduate Alice, who is pictured with her work Discarded Bottles, said: “Winning the New Graduate Award, including a chance to exhibit at Middlesbrough Art Week, has been a fantastic opportunity to network with other artists and people within the creative industries. The three-month residency has been an invaluable experience during my transition from university into a professional setting. The MAW team have been very supportive during this process.”

Professor of Contemporary Art at Northumbria University, Fiona Crisp, said: “The University is proud to have worked alongside Middlesbrough Art Week to develop this fantastic scheme for our new graduates.

“Access to mentorship, skill development and network building is key to artists at the beginning of their careers whilst the chance to exhibit alongside national and international artists represents a unique opportunity. Alice and Seymour both richly deserve the award and have seized the opportunity to make bold new work which I very much look forward to seeing.”

Curator and Project Manager for Middlesbrough Art Week, Will Hughes, said: “Seymour and Alice have worked wonderfully with us over the last three months. Getting to know them both on the intensive weekend at the start of the residency really laid the groundworks for a vibrant relationship and has culminated in the production of exciting new work for Middlesbrough Art Week.”

Alice and Seymour’s artwork, along with the work of their New Graduate Award peers – Katrina Bate, Fiery Britannia, Anna-Marie Galleres, Niamh Hawes, Aimee Sulley and Jude Warham – can be seen at Middlesbrough Art Week from Thursday 28 September.

For full event details, visit: https://middlesbroughartweek.com/programme

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